My first impressions of this drama were pretty lackluster, despite loving the main cast and the plot overview, those first few episodes didn’t seem to hook me, and we all know the first few episodes are crucial. However, an enticing gif set later I tried again and it became the drama I looked forward to each week.
Ok, this cast was amazing. When I first heard about Gong Hyo Jin being cast as the lead I was already willing to give this drama a chance, but also throw in Jo Jung Seok and I was ready to fall in love.
Gong Hyo Jin’s portrayal of Pyo Na Ri is truly a magical thing for me, because I really expect didn’t expect to love this character in the first couple of episodes. She felt a little too quirky, even to me, but Na Ri, as a character, grew on me each episode because she wasn’t a pushover. She knew exactly what she wanted and she didn’t back down from a fight. Plus, she and Jo Jung Seok have such a beautiful chemistry.
Speak of the devil, Lee Hwa Shin is possibly one of the most precious characters to me ever. It could be my inherent adoration of Jo Jung Seok talking, but I don’t think it is. Much like Na Ri, his character grew on me and I think that was some of the magic of this drama. It didn’t give me characters who were perfect and allowed them to grow through the episodes.
In addition, Go Kyung Po’s role as the second male lead was one my favorites in while because he wasn’t a massive idiot. He pursued the female lead in the beginning because she wanted him to, but when as she realised where he true feelings lay he backed off and was supportive of both Ma Rin and his best friend. There was no stupid drama. Just the iconic mud flats scene and some good old bromance.
In fact I found the entire cast delightful. The entire family was a highlight of this drama. Especially the two mothers who seemed to be made for one another no matter how much they bickered.
Plus, I am all for dramas actually tackling real issues like breast cancer because, yes, I do enjoy the fluffy, happy plots of your typical kdrama, but I also like seeing people talking about real issues. Male breast cancer is an issue I haven’t even seen explicitly discussed on American dramas which made the storyline that much more unique. I enjoyed how it was handled truthfully and with respect. At no point did the writers make it into a joke or belittle it.
My only gripe with this drama is the slow start. I have rewatched it twice since the show aired, but I still couldn’t tell you what exactly happens in the first two or three episodes. It seems sad that perhaps a viewer may be deterred from the opening episodes.
A little longer than your typical kdrama at twenty-four episodes this is on my eternal recommendations list. It feels like such a unique drama compared to many others as it is both well-written and well acted with characters who you grow to love. A must watch in my opinion.